Apple is finally giving iOS developers the opportunity to provide promotional codes for in-app purchases. EA will be one of the first to take advantage of the new scheme with a Real Racing 3 promotion that will allow players to redeem free in-game gold that would usually cost $1.99.
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Streaming media services that want to sell subscriptions to users of their apps on the iPhone or iPad have to make a deal with the proverbial devil: if they want to sign up customers on an iOS device, they have to give Apple a 30% cut of the sale.
For music subscription services like Rdio and Spotify, where the margins are razor thin, giving up that 30% cut is enough to turn a subscription from a profit to a break-even proposition. So when a company goes this route, it’s easy to assume they are hurting.
By this logic, Beats Music — the new subscription music service launched in January — is hurting.
Apple has refunded Briton Lee Neale £4,000 ($6,131) after his 8-year-old daughter Lily spent the cash on virtual items in her favorite iPad game. Lily knew the password for her father’s iTunes account, but no one expected her to use it to rack up a huge bill on in-app purchases.
Real Racing 3 fans have yet more content to look forward to in a new update that promises a new track, new cars, and new events. EA announced the release, which will introduce twilight racing at the Dubai Autodrome, on the company’s official Facebook page.
The Boingo app for iOS now allows users to buy Wi-Fi using in-app purchases that are charged to your iTunes account. It makes it quicker and easier to get connected on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, and means you no longer have to navigate Boingo’s website.
Alongside its weekly App Store refresh this week, Apple introduced a new page that helps App Store users “learn more about in-app purchases.” The guide explains what in-app purchases are, how they work, and most importantly, how to prevent your kids from spending a small fortune on them without your permission.
The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading is investigating children’s games that charge in-app purchases for additional content and virtual items. The watchdog will look at games on mobile and on the web, and it’s calling for parents to report titles that “aggressively push” in-app purchases to children.
Remember Lodsys, the patent troll that began suing a bunch of indie iOS developers back in 2011 over their use of in-app purchases? Well, it’s back to do more trolling. The company has targeted another ten mobile game makers in its latest complaints, which it has been quietly filing in an East Texas court throughout 2013.
The studios named include Gameloft, Walt Disney, BackFlip Studios, and Gamevil.
Given the success of the original Plants vs. Zombies game, which first landed on iOS almost three years ago, I’m surprised we don’t already have a sequel. But there is one on the way. PopCap has announced that Plants vs. Zombies 2 will be launching early this summer.
Stories about kids who gain access to their parents’ iTunes passwords and run up huge bills on apps and in-app purchases are becoming all too common. The latest, concerning 13-year-old Cameron Crossan from the U.K., has an interesting twist.
When Cameron ran up a £3,700 ($5,620) iTunes bill playing iPad games, his father, policeman Doug Crossan, called Apple to get a refund. Apple refused to give the Crossans their money back, so Doug went down a different route. He reported his son for fraud.